Samsung I9000 Galaxy S review: From outer space
Connectivity is duly covered
The I9000 Galaxy S covers its connectivity bases alright – worldwide roaming ready quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSPA with download rates of up to 7.2 Mbps and upload at 5.76 Mbps.
Moving on to local connectivity – the Samsung I9000 Galaxy S offers Wi-Fi (b/g/n), the new Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP support and USB v2.0. The USB interface is standard microUSB, which makes finding a suitable cable a lot easier.
Android 2.1 enables file transfers via Bluetooth, so there’s little else left to ask for.
Besides its 16GB integrated storage, the Samsung I9000 Galaxy S supports microSD cards of up to 32GB. The slot is under the battery cover. There is also 2GB of ROM, with 1.8 GB free space for app installation. As you know Android 2.2 Froyo will enable installing apps on the memory card and the extra internal storage. Until then all Droid devices will have to rely on their inbuilt memory. Samsung I9000 Galaxy S is really a winner here with those 1.8 GB of free space - HTC Desire for instance offers only 120 MB.
The 3.5 mm standard audio port completes the connectivity tally. You can keep your favorite headphones and use them with the Galaxy S hassle-free.
Very good web browser
Android is the product of the Web 2.0 era and its browser is excellent. With Éclair, the level of usability has reached competitive levels.
The user interface is completely minimalistic (it’s the Google way). All you get on the screen is an address bar and +/- zoom buttons. The address bar is placed on top of the page, so scrolling down moves it out of view and the zoom controls auto-hide – that’s essential for web apps because they need to have the whole screen estate to work with.
The Galaxy S browser supports three zoom methods – dedicated buttons, double tap and multitouch pinch-zooming.
The browser supports text reflow – a moment after adjusting the zoom level, columns of text adjust to fit the screen width. Without text reflow you will either have to zoom out until the text fits (but then it’s too small to read comfortably) or scroll sideways to read each line.
The minimalist UI is quite powerful – hit the menu key and six keys pop up. You can open a new tab, switch tabs, refresh the page, go forward, and open bookmarks. The final button reveals even more options (text copying, find on page, etc.).
The bookmark list shows a thumbnail of the bookmarked page and you also get a “most visited” list in addition to the history.
The last castle of the Web that the Android Browser has yet to storm is Flash. It’s only with Froyo that it’s finally available in the core Android system. Samsung I9000 Galaxy S will have to wait for that update to dip its toes into the sea of Flash content.
Update:Now that the Samsung I9000 Galaxy S got the Android 2.2 Froyo update it's fully capable of running all kings of Flash content. There's also an on-demand option in the browser in case you want to save yourself some loading time and only download the elements you need. An excellent browser just got better.
The Samsung I9000 Galaxy S also packs YouTube app for easier browsing of the most popular video-sharing site.
Organizer has everything you need
The Samsung I9000 Galaxy S comes with the ThinkFree Office pre-installed – it’s both a document viewer and an editor. It works like a charm and is capable of pinch zooming. Both panning and zooming are fast and the overall performance of the Office package is excellent.
The calendar has four different types of view - agenda, daily, weekly and monthly. Adding a new event is quick and easy, and you can also set an alarm to act as a reminder.
The agenda view shows a list of all the calendar entries from the recent past to the near future. It’s a very handy tool when you need to check your appointments for the next few days.
There is also a calculator aboard. It is nicely touch optimized - the buttons are big enough and easy to hit.
The Samsung I9000 Galaxy S features a decent alarm clock application which allows a huge number of alarms to be set, each with its own start time and repeat pattern.
Samsung have included the My Files app – a simple to use but functional file manager, which also doubles as an image gallery. It can move, copy, lock and rename files in bulk, even send multiple files over Bluetooth. It will only browse the memory card and the large internal storage (it can’t access the inbuilt memory).
Finally, comes the YouTube app which, as we said, partially compensates for the web browser's lack of Flash support. Its interface is simple enough to let you find whatever you're looking for as quickly as possible.